Monday, May 17, 2010

Citizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

Published: 2004
Pages: 306
Genre: Chick lit
Working in a world where a college degree qualifies her to make photocopies and color-coordinate file folders, twenty-four-year-old Girl is struggling to keep up with the essential trinity of food, shelter, and student loans. So when she finally lands the job of her dreams, she ignores her misgivings and concentrates on getting the job done... whatever that may be (from back of book).

After semi-enjoying The Nanny Diaries by the same authors, I decided to pick up Citizen Girl when I saw it at the library. I finished it yesterday, and can honestly say that it left me feeling a tad confused.

The book started out fine, despite having a main character named "Girl" which I found to be an odd choice. Nevertheless, I continued onwards and was getting into the book, enjoying Girl's misfortunes and happy moments. All of the sudden, though, I got lost. I can't remember the exact moment and I can't remember how, but it hit me - I have no idea what's going on anymore!

That's the truth. At some undefined moment during the course of Citizen Girl, I completey lost track. I didn't know what was happening, I didn't know who some of the characters were, and I didn't know why I was still reading. Usually when I feel this confused during a book I go back and try to make sense of it again. But Citizen Girl didn't feel worth the trouble, and I didn't even care.

Now that I look back, I think some of this is due to the extremely satirist and almost sarcastic writing style that these authors have. On occasion I couldn't even tell if what they were saying was true, or if it was simply a metaphor for something else. Some events in the story didn't make sense, and some of the characters felt out of place to me. Again, maybe I just wasn't comprehending enough. Maybe not.

In the end, Citizen Girl is certainly a strangely-composed book. The plot itself is 50% fun, chick lit pleasure, the other 50% is pure confusion. I'm sure some people really like McLaughlin and Kraus' writing style and can follow the story. But if you're like me, you'll find Citizen Girl to be a mish-mash of characters randomly shoved into a weak story line.

Recommendation: Fans of The Nanny Diaries might like to give the book a try. If you aren't familiar with these authors, I would steer clear.


Jeanne C. said...

Oh, I've tried The Nanny Diaries, and I kind of felt the same way! I SO wanted to like Nanny, but... like you with Girl, I just didn't care enough. :( Oh, well... can't win 'em all!

Splendibird said...

I enjoyed The Nanny Diaries, but have avoided reading this as the blurb just didn't appeal. After reading your fantastically honest review I think that I may definitely give it a miss!

Aths said...

I doubt I'll enjoy this either. It does sound fun, but a lot of chick lit books are confusing too, so I'll stay away from this. Thanks for the honest review!

Sara said...

Thanks for the honest review Emidy! I really don't like books that get me confused, so I think I'll pass on this one.

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Two authors - neat!

Bill ;-)

Hope you'll check out my book giveaway: Seek Followers, please stop by...

Juju at Tales of said...

50% confusion? LOL
Cool breakdown!
Great review.

Sara said...

Hey Emidy!
It's me again, I just wanted to let you know that you've won an award over at my blog :D

Emidy said...

Jeanne - That's exactly it!

Splendibird - Yep, if you aren't interested by the summary then you shouldn't read it at all.

Aths - It did have some fun moments, but it didn't follow very well.

Sara - No way! Confusing books are never good.

Dr. Bill - I find it amazing how two people can work together and write one book.

Juju - Haha! It was honestly 50% confusion.

Sara - Wow, thank you so much!

Mari said...

Honest and enjoyable review. Brava!

Lea (YA Book Queen) said...

Ah, sounds like it was very confusing ;)

Thanks for the review! I don't think I'll be checking this one out,